Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bread for the World

6,761,860,106 people live on this planet.

One third of us are well fed. One third is underfed and one third is starving. 18 million people die of starvation or starvation related diseases annually worldwide. Malnutrition is implicated in more than half of all child deaths worldwide. Every 3.6 seconds someone dies of hunger.

3 billion people in the world today struggle to survive on US$2/day.

Warren Buffet is an American and at 77 years of age he is the wealthiest man on earth with 62.0 billion dollars. Carlos Slim Helu lives in Mexico and is worth 60 billion dollars. Bill Gates III is American and worth 58 billion dollars. The assets of these three richest men are more than the combined Gross National Products of all the forty-nine least developed countries on the planet. (map is of LCDs - least developed countries)

I am not laying the responsibility for feeding the world's hungry on the doorstep of these three aforementioned men. Each may already be a philanthropist. I am saying two things. There is tremendous disparity between the wealthy and the poor of this world, and there is more than enough money in the world to feed everyone. The world's wealth (businesses and individuals)is estimated at 44 trillion dollars. Nine million people worldwide each have one million dollars of worth.

The United Nations classifies a Least Developed Country with three criteria:
* low-income (three-year average GNI per capita of less than US $750, which must exceed $900 to leave the list)
* human resource weakness (based on indicators of nutrition, health, education and adult literacy) and
* economic vulnerability (based on instability of agricultural production, instability of exports of goods and services, economic importance of non-traditional activities, merchandise export concentration, and handicap of economic smallness, and the percentage of population displaced by natural disasters)

$30 billion per year is what UN officials estimate is needed to eradicate hunger.

Bread for the World has a site with links to countless organizations seeking to relieve world hunger.

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